The Hill Middle School Guidance Department Staff consists of:
· Diane King, Secretary
· Scott Pedersen, Counselor for 6th Grade and teams 7-0 and 7-3
· Ginny Sharp, Counselor for 8th Grade and Team 7-1
The School Counseling Program is a comprehensive program that is designed to meet the developmental needs of all of our middle school students.
· We are advocates for our students.
· We present every student with the opportunity to experience a happy and healthy life and to reach his or her full potential.
· We collaborate with students, teachers, parents/guardians, administrators, school psychologists, school social workers, the community and other support staff.
How Does Your Student See their School Counselor?
· Students can sign up in advance for an appointment through email
· Students can come in on a drop in basis with a pass from their teacher if a counselor is available during lunch.
· Students can drop in before or after school.
· Parents can email or call in advance for an appointment.
· What your child shares with his or her counselor will remain private, but there are exceptions:
o When there is potential risk of harm to your child or another individual.
o When state laws mandate reports of child abuse.
o When a court of law requires testimony or student records.
· Counselors also consult with other school professionals.
Hill Student Guide Program: Counselors train a large group of student volunteers as Student Guides. Student Guides function as peer buddies to new students, participate in team activities, make teacher introductions, help with lockers and escort kids to class and lunch. In addition, Student Guides help with Career Day, New Student Orientation, 5th Graders Transition and many other tasks. In the process, they acquire excellent leadership skills.
Hill Peer Mediation Program: Counselors train a select group of student volunteers as Peer Mediators. This program teaches students to be peacemakers, who help students resolve interpersonal problems in a fair and unbiased manner. These students also acquire excellent leadership skills.
Hill Middle School appreciates our Student Guides and Peer Mediators!
Preventing and Stopping Bullying at Hill Middle School
Hill Middle School aims to provide a safe and peaceful learning environment and is committed to preventing and responding to incidences of bullying. The following provides information for parents and students, so they can appropriately respond to instances of bullying.
What is Bullying?
The definition indicates that bullying involves the use of one's strength or status to repeatedly intimidate, injure, or humiliate another person of lesser strength or status, and that bullying can be physical, verbal, or social.
Research shows that bullying reaches its peak in both frequency and severity during middle school and then declines in high school. It becomes more sophisticated as children grow older leading to more indirect and group bullying, both of which can be hard to detect and combat.
If the staff at Hill confirms that bullying has occurred, the bully will at minimum receive a detention, and depending on the actual actions, may receive an in-school detention, social probation, out of school suspension, or even expulsion. Repeat offenders will receive increasingly stringent consequences, and parents and/or guardians will be invited to meet with staff at Hill to discuss solutions to the problem. Bully victims will be referred to meet with a counselor, social worker, or school psychologist to discuss their concerns and develop strategies for the future. Students who are regularly bullied are encouraged to participate in long-term counseling with the permission of their parents and/or guardians.
The pain and embarrassment of being bullied often causes victims to hide what is going on. However, there are a variety of ways to tell if your child is being bullied. Symptoms include:
· Safety concerns
· Excessive or unexplained sadness
· Increased aggression
· Academic issues
· Low self-esteem
· Deficits in peer relations
· Substance use
Other possible warning signs may include:
· Numerous lost belongings
· Frequent injuries or damage to clothes or property
· Spends time primarily with younger students (may indicate a problem with peers)
· Avoids recess (i.e., playground) before, during, and/or after school
· Arrives at school late or just at the starting bell
· Appears to be alone most of the time at school
· Obtains an excessive or insufficient amount of sleep
· Somatic complaints (i.e., headaches, stomachaches, etc.)
If you think your child is being bullied, there are some helpful guidelines to follow:
· First, listen to gauge the seriousness of the incident and whether there is a history of such bullying.
· Then find out what has been tried and work out options with your child - such as being more assertive (not aggressive), avoiding people and places that lead to being bullied, and telling staff at school as soon as possible.
· It is tempting to confront the bully's parents or even the bully. Don't. It seldom works and commonly makes matters worse. When bullying occurs at school, work with a teacher, counselor or principal to address the concern.
· If it happens at school, on the way there, or on the way home from school, let the school know. We have the resources to quickly stop many circumstances of bullying. Students who report bullying will have their names kept confidential in addressing the situation.
One of the most important actions that a parent can take in this situation is talking with his or her child. Tell your child that you are concerned and that you’d like to help. Here are some questions to start a conversation:
· I’m worried about you. Are there any kids at school who may be picking on you or bullying you?
· Are there any kids at school who tease you in a mean way?
· Are there any kids at school who leave you out or exclude you on purpose?
It is also important to recognize when your child is engaging in bullying. It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that children so young can display such acts of intimidation and hurtfulness. It can sometimes be difficult to tell if a child bullies. Here are some common signs.
Children who bully tend to have:
· Average or above average self-esteem.
· Impulsive personalities.
· Lack of empathy.
· Difficulty conforming to rules.
· Positive attitudes toward violence.
Some bullies are quite popular, enjoying high status and esteem from their peers and even teachers. These are called “hidden bullies” - popular children who exhibit aggression (persistent arguing, fighting, getting in trouble).
Your child needs to hear from you explicitly that it’s not normal, okay, or tolerable for him or her to bully, to be bullied, or to watch other kids be bullied.
· Make sure your child knows that if he or she bullies other kids, it is harmful to all kids involved.
· Communicate to your child that you will help him or her find other ways to exert personal power, status, and leadership at school, and that you will work with them, their teachers, and their principal to implement a plan at school.
· Schedule an appointment to talk with school staff such as your child’s teacher(s) and the school counselor. Share your concerns. Work together to send clear messages to your child that his or her bullying must stop.
· Explain to your child that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Stop any acts of aggression you see and talk about other ways your child can deal with the situation. Establish appropriate consequences for his or her actions.
· Develop clear and consistent rules within your family for your children’s behavior. Praise and reinforce your children for following rules and use non-physical, non-hostile consequences for rule violations.
· Examine behavior and interactions in your own home. Is there something going on at home that is encouraging this type of behavior?
· Spend more time with your child and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities. Find out who your child’s friends are and how and where they spend free time.
· Talk with your child about who his or her friends are and what they do together. Peers can be very influential, especially for teens.
· Consider talking to your child’s pediatrician about your child’s behavior.
· Be realistic. Your child’s behavior will not change overnight.
· Continue to work and communicate with school staff for as long as it takes. They should be your allies.
· If you or your child needs additional help, talk with a school counselor.
Often the most important students in preventing and stopping bullying are neither the bully nor the victim. By their actions, bystanders can encourage or stop bullies. By assertively telling bullies to stop, openly supporting victims, or at least ignoring bullying behavior, bystanders can greatly reduce bullying and help both victims and bullies.
For more information on bully prevention and responses to bullying you can contact your school counselor or visit these websites:
US Department of Health and Human Services offers flash movies, games, and information about bullying and how to prevent it.
Bullying Prevention Resource Guide for schools, families, and community partners.
Bullying is a problem all over. Many children and teens have to deal with more than one school bully, and sometimes even friends can bully.
Bully prevention fact sheet and guide for parents.
Information for both parents and children to address bullying including stories and games.
Provides a wide range of information on bullying at school.
Hill Middle School Parent Tips
- Parents should call the school by 8:30A.M. on each day their child will be absent.
- If an extended absence of one week or more is expected, only one call is necessary
- If we are not contacted by 8:30A.M., a parent will be called
- Attendance Phone Number: 630.428.6200 x6231
When your child is absent, it helps to check what the day’s homework is by calling the Homework Hotline or visiting the Hill Web Page.
If your child is not in school they can’t participate in extracurricular activities that day; they must be present for a half-day in order to participate (cut-off time is 11:30)
- When a student is going to be absent due to a family vacation, a note should be sent to the office as early as possible informing the school of the dates the student will be gone.
- Upon the students return to school, teachers will provide the student with a list of work missed (one day of extra time is allotted for each day absent when scheduling make-up work)
- If there is a long-range assignment that is assigned prior to the student leaving, the student will still be required to turn it in on the required due date unless they are still gone (it would then be due immediately on the return to school)
- Parents are requested to write a note if their children need to leave early or arrive late (it should state times, date, and reason)
- The student should bring the note to the Main Office upon arrival to school so they can be issued a pass to leave class and school early
- Parents will be required to sign the student out in the Main Office
- A cafeteria style food service is available everyday (it includes a meal of the day, a la carte items, a snack line, desserts, etc.)
- The approximate cost is $2.50; students do not need to carry more than $5.00 to school each day
- Parents can add money to their students’ card online or by sending money/check to school with the student
- The students get to pick their lunch table each semester
Communication with Your Child at School:
- Students are allowed to use the phone in the office if they have permission before doing so.
- Students may also use their cell phones in or near the Main Office if they have received permission by an adult prior to using it.
Most of the time students are calling home because they have forgotten something; please encourage your child to leave a detailed message to avoid parents thinking the worst
If there is an emergency of some kind, school personnel would be doing the calling not the student
Messages to Students
- Messages will be delivered to your students during their lunch periods. If there is an afternoon message, it will be delivered at the beginning of the next period. We do our best not to interrupt class time.
- Please understand that messages called in after 2:45 pm or "just a reminder" messages are more difficult to get to students since it is so close to the end of the day.
Use of Electronic Devices at School:
- Students are not allowed to use any electronic device from 8:00A.M. – 3:00P.M.
- If a student is seen using an electronic device, the device will be confiscated by an adult and a consequence will be issued
- It is recommended that electronic devices be kept locked in a locker or kept at home; the school is not responsible for lost or stolen goods
Communication with the School/Teacher:
- Sign up to receive the Hill Daily News – daily announcements will be sent to your email
- Visit the Hill Middle School Web Page for important information
- See the online calendar on the Hill Web Page for important events
- See the PTSA blog and web page by visiting Hill’s Web Page
- Contact teachers by phone or email (please allow 24 hours for a response)
- Call the Homework Hotline for the assignments of the day
- Check the Homework Hotline online by going to the Hill website
- Students should use their assignment notebooks daily
Competitive Sports: Girl’s Volleyball, Cross Country, Football, Boy’s and Girl’s Soccer, Boy’s and Girl’s Basketball, Wrestling, Track and Field
Music: Women’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus, Honor Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble, Hill Fiddlers, Spring Musical, etc.
Possible Clubs: Art, Student PTSA, Yearbook, Newspaper, Peer Mediators, Student Guides, Golf, Bowling, Model, 3M, Chess, Wrestling, Running, Mind and Body, etc.
Talk to your students in the summer to see what they are interested in and also make sure the students are listening to announcements to see when certain clubs and groups begin.
If your student is interested in participating in one of our competitive sports, be sure to submit a sports physical prior to the start of the season. Sports physicals can be downloaded from the Athletics page on the Hill website.
Bus Drop-Off/Pick-Up Rules:
- Between the hours of 7:15 – 8:15A.M. and 2:45P.M. – 3:15P.M. only buses are allowed in the circle drive in the front of the school
- Parents wishing to pick up or drop off their child during these times should enter the parking lot at the far southern entrance and proceed north to the curb next to the gym
- If the student is being dropped off, the students should proceed to their appropriate grade level entrance unless there is inclement weather (they can then enter in the 8th grade doors)
- Hilltoppers start at 6:30P.M. and end at 8:30P.M.
- Hilltoppers are for Hill students only
- Permission slips must be signed prior to the first Hilltopper in order for a student to attend (the permission slip is for all of the Hilltoppers)
- Students must give their student ID’s at the door (they will be returned on Monday)
- It costs $3 to enter the Hiltopper
- Students may not attend if they are absent that day or leave before 11:30A.M.
- We recommend carpooling due to the number of students attending
- Pick up is a zoo so plan exactly where to meet your child after
- Please be on time
- If a student is coming or leaving early they must be personally escorted by a parent or guardian
- Lockers are provided for the students
- Showers are not required
- Students are required to change into athletic clothes everyday unless told otherwise by their PE teacher
- Valuables should be locked up in their locker during the PE period
- $100 fee per sport; 3rd sport in a school year is free
- Only 7th and 8th graders can participate in competitive interscholastic sports
- Students are required to have a physical and sign a waiver prior to participating; students can’t participate in the sport or try out for the sport without an active physical or a signed waiver
- Cut sports – Girl’s Volleyball, Boy’s and Girl’s Soccer, Boy’s and Girl’s Basketball